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Game Day Crock Pot Sweet & Spicy Garlic Wings

Game Day Crock Pot Sweet & Spicy Garlic Wings

Game Day Crock Pot Sweet & Spicy Garlic Wings

3 lb. chicken wings


1 C. soy sauce

1/2 C. minced garlic

1/2 C. brown sugar

2 T. honey

2 T. Sriracha


Place wings single layer on a foil lined pan. Broil for 12 minutes, 4-5 inches from the heat source. Flip once. They should be slightly browned Drain fat Put in crock pot. Mix sauce ingredients Pour sauce over wings. Toss wings around. Cover with lid, and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high 2.5- 3 hours

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats


2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
6 T. reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. light tub-style cream cheese
2 T. light sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped jarred jalapeño peppers
4 T. panko breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds to form zucchini boats. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 1 minute. Blot any moisture from the zucchini with a paper towel, and set aside. In a medium bowl, place Cheddar, cream cheese, sour cream, and jalapeños, and stir well with a fork until smooth. Spread about 2 T. cheese mixture in each of the zucchini boats. Place the stuffed zucchini on a baking sheet, sprinkle each boat evenly with 1 T. of the breadcrumbs, spray well with cooking spray, and bake for 25 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden brown. Let cool slightly before digging in!


Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 80

Fat: 4g

Fiber: 1g

Oven-Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Oven-Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Oven-Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

6 C. Cauliflower Florets

¼ C. nonfat Greek Yogurt

2 T. Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce

2 T. Olive Oil Mayo

2/3 C. Panko Breadcrumbs

1/3 dry Breadcrumbs

2 tsp. Canola Oil

¼ tsp. Garlic Salt with Parsley

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. In a large skillet, place the cauliflower and 1 cup of water over medium high heat. Cover and steam for 5 minutes, then transfer the cauliflower onto a paper-towel-lined plate. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, wing sauce, mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons water. In a separate shallow bowl or pie plate, combine remaining ingredients and toss to mix. Hold a cauliflower floret by the stem, dip and twist the floret top through the Buffalo sauce, lightly wipe off excess sauce, roll into the crumbs, and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining florets. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. If you would like your Buffalo Bites crispier or more browned, place them under the broiler for 1 minute before serving.


Yield: 6 servings (about ¾ cup)

Calories: 90

Fat: 3g

Fiber: 4g

5 Minute Shrimp Salsa

5 Minute Shrimp Salsa

5 Minute Shrimp Salsa

1 cup fresh prepared salsa
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon ketchup
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup cooked bay shrimp

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except shrimp, stirring well to combine.  Gently fold in the shrimp, and top with additional cilantro, if desired.

Serving Size: 3 T.

Calories: 25

Total Fat: 0g

Fiber: 0g

Bacon, Scallion & Caramelized Onion Dip

Bacon, Scallion & Caramelized Onion Dip

Bacon, Scallion & Caramelized Onion Dip

3 slices Bacon, cut into ¼” pieces
¾ C. Sour Cream
½ C. Caramelized Onions
2 Scallions, minced
½ tsp. Cider Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Cook bacon in 8 inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Combine Sour cream, onions, scallions, vinegar and bacon in medium bowl. Season with salt & Pepper to taste and serve. Dip can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

Kenny’s Wings of Fire

Kenny’s Wings of Fire

kenny4-5 pounds chicken wings or drum sticks, rinsed and dried

Wing Rub:
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground oregano
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoons ground sage
2 teaspoons ground rosemary

Wing Sauce:
4 tablespoons jalapeño sauce
4 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
4 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons liquid from a jar of jalapenos
4 tablespoons BBQ sauce
3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes

Note: Every dry pepper or pepper hot sauce affects a different part of your tongue and throat. Decide what level of tickle is best for you and adjust the recipe accordingly. This is Kenny’s favorite “forehead glistening” combination. Make the rub by combining all spices until they are evenly distributed throughout the rub. Sprinkle wings generously on all sides with the dry rub. Let wings to rest for at 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing together all of the sauce ingredients. Place wings directly on the cooking grate. Cook over direct medium heat for 10-15 minutes on each side. Kenny says that the “wings are done when they bounce after being dropped from 6″ above grill,” or when the skin is brown and crisp and the meat has pulled away from the bone. When thoroughly cooked, remove and place in a disposable aluminum pan. Pour the sauce into the pan of wings and stir, thoroughly. Then cover pan with foil and switch to Indirect heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch the wings vigilantly because the sauce will burn easily. Remove pan from heat and remove foil. Stir and enjoy with an ice cold beer.

Fiesta Stuffed Mini Peppers

Fiesta Stuffed Mini Peppers

Fiesta-Stuffed-Mini-Peppers-512-18 Sweet Mini Peppers (halved and seeded)
8 oz. package of Cream Cheese (softened)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese or shredded Monterrey jack
1 T. lime juice
1 T. fresh cilantro
½ tsp. garlic salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Wash and slice the peppers in half long ways. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. In another bowl mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, lime, cilantro, and garlic salt. Spoon or pipe the filling into each of the pepper halves. Place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese

Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese

pretzels-banner4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 & 1/4 cups warm water
5 cups flour
1/4 cup white sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 & 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
1/2 cup baking soda
2 egg whites
Kosher or coarse sea salt, for topping
cooking spray

In a measuring cup dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the flour, white and brown sugars, and salt. Pour the water/yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons melted butter into the bowl. Knead for 6-8 minutes until the dough is smooth. Add extra water if dough is too dry, until you get your desired texture. Lightly oil a large bowl. Shape dough into a ball. Place the dough ball in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of hot water and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and then knead with hands for one minute. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and break off small chunks of dough – Roll the chunks into 1 inch diameter balls (I got about 20-25). Dip the pieces in the baking soda water and place on the baking sheet. Gently drying with a paper towel if they become too wet. Brush each pretzel ball with egg whites/melted butter then sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until browned.

Beer Cheese

1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup good beer
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup Velveeta, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper

Place cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Stir in beer, horseradish sauce, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Heat for another 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Add in Velveeta. Heat another 30 seconds, and stir until cheese is melted and smooth.

5 Fast and Fabulous Dips

5 Fast and Fabulous Dips

Stir together a full jar of Thai peanut sauce, a little bit of pancake syrup, a dash of hot pepper sauce, and a squeeze of ketchup. You’ll wind up with a sweet, tangy peanut sauce with a kick!

Mix equal parts mayonnaise and honey-flavored mustard for a great sauce to dip chicken nuggets in.

Begin again with mayonnaise, but this time add a dollup of ketchup, a spoonful of pickle relish, and a dash of hot pepper sauce for a speedy rémoulade. Serve with boiled shrimp or crab cakes.

Start with your favorite bottled Italian salad dressing and squeeze in some fresh lime juice. Add a pinch of sugar and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro. Now it’ll be your favorite Mexican dip.

Don’t forget the classic: a packet of dried onion soup mix and a container of sour cream. A chip couldn’t ask for anything better.

What to Dip?

What to Dip?

imagesIFKWZZ60The Usual Suspects:

Potato Chips
Tortilla Chips (plain, blue, or black bean)
Celery Sticks, Carrot Sticks, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Red Radishes, Bell Pepper

The Twists:

Bagel chips
Sweet potato chips / Terra Chips
Small Rice Crackers
Veggie Chips / Sticks
Bread Sticks
Thin rounds of Zucchini, Turnips, Celery root, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Fennel, Endive, Green Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Steamed Asparagus
Sliced apples (toss with a little lemon juice so it doesn’t turn brown)
Toasted Pita Triangles
Puffy Cheese Twists
Party Rye, toasted

Burrito Party

Burrito Party

fajitas-de-pollo-xThrow a Cinco de Mayo burrito party in minutes

As a holiday, Cinco de Mayo stirs up more hoopla north of the Mexican border than south of it—but any excuse for a party that involves Mexican food is good enough for us. Best yet, it’s easy to do: Just buy what you need for a burrito buffet at the supermarket; if there’s a Mexican market near you, the choices for fillings and fixings get even better. Guests build their own burritos, so all you have to make is the slaw. When it’s this easy, you just might want to think about a Cinco de Junio next.

What to buy ( Makes about 10 servings.)

Appetizers and drinks
Tortilla chips and salsa and/or guacamole
Fried pork rinds (chicharrónes)
Pickled jalapeño chiles
Chile-lime roasted peanuts or garbanzos
Mexican beer and sodas

Burrito bar
8 ounces cotija or feta cheese
1 1/2 C. crema (Mexican sour cream) or sour cream
1 1/2 C. salsa (1 or 2 types)
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 ounce fresh cilantro
5 green onions
2 avocados (8 oz. each)
or 1 1/2 C. guacamole
1 lime
2 or 3 cans (16 oz. each) black, pinto, or refried beans
About 2 pounds boned cooked meat or 2 roasted whole chickens (1 3/4 lb. each)
10 fresh flour tortillas (10 in. wide)

slawMexican slaw
2 limes
3 T. vegetable oil
1 head cabbage
4 to 6 ounces radishes
1 ounce fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper

Pineapple sundaes
3 pounds peeled and cored fresh pineapple
1 1/2 C. caramel sauce like Mexican (goat-milk) cajeta
1 1/3 C. sweetened flaked or shredded dried coconut
2 1/2 quarts vanilla ice cream
Guests build their own burritos, so all you have to make is the slaw.

Burrito Bar

Notes: At many Mexican delis, you can find great cooked filling choices like carnitas (slow-cooked pork) and carne asada (marinated beef steak). And meat sections often carry ready-to-grill marinated meats such as lomo de res (beef), puerco adovado (pork), or fajitas de pollo (chicken). If those options aren’t available, look for rotisserie chickens from a supermarket deli.

1. Crumble cotija cheese and put in a bowl. Place crema and salsa in containers. Rinse lettuce, cilantro, and green onions. Finely shred enough lettuce to make about 5 C. and place in a container. Chop cilantro and thinly slice onions (including green tops); put in containers. Pit and peel avocados, thinly slice into a bowl, and mix with 2 T. lime juice.

2. In a 2- to 3-quart covered pan over medium heat, stir beans often until hot (adding a little water, if needed, to refried beans), about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm. Or heat, covered, in a microwave oven at full power (100%), stirring once, until hot, 3 to 4 minutes. If using whole beans, lift beans from liquid with a slotted spoon or drain in a colander.

3. Tear cooked meat into coarse shreds or cut into thin slices. If using a whole roast chicken, pull meat off bones and shred; sliver skin and include (or discard if desired). If meat is raw, grill it, then slice into bite-size pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature. To reheat, place meat in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and heat in microwave oven at half power (50%), stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Drizzle 1/4 C. water over a dish towel. Wrap tortillas in towel and overwrap with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Heat in a microwave oven at full power (100%) until hot and steamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and set towel-wrapped tortillas in a basket or covered casserole.
5. Arrange cheese, crema, salsa, lettuce, cilantro, onions, avocados, beans, meat, and tortillas on the table. Makes 10 servings.

Mexican Slaw

1. Squeeze 3 T. juice from limes into a large bowl. Add vegetable oil and mix.

2. Rinse cabbage, radishes, and cilantro. Finely shred enough cabbage to make 3 quarts. Thinly slice radishes to make about 1 C. Chop enough cilantro to make about 1/2 C. Add cabbage, radishes, and cilantro to dressing. Mix gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pineapple Sundaes

Notes: Scoop balls of ice cream onto a baking sheet and freeze for easy serving. Cut pineapple into bite-size chunks. Put pineapple, caramel sauce, coconut, and ice cream balls into bowls (see notes). Makes about 10 servings.

Pigs in a Blanket with Cranberry-Mustard Dipping Sauce

Pigs in a Blanket with Cranberry-Mustard Dipping Sauce

Rich, crispy puff pastry makes an elegant wrapper for cocktail franks, and the easy sauce of cranberry and Dijon mustard is a wonderful seasonal accompaniment.

pigs1 (14-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed but very cold
All-purpose flour for rolling dough
1 (12-ounce) package (about 28) cocktail franks
1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water
3/4 cup prepared cranberry sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap puff pastry and place on a well-floured surface. Pass a rolling pin over the pastry a few times to even out any bumps and make it just slightly thinner. Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut into 3-inch-wide strips, then cut each strip into 1½-inch sections. You’ll need 28 pieces. (You may not need all the pastry; you can refreeze what you don’t use.) Wrap each cocktail frank in a strip, rolling it so just the tips of the franks stick out. Use your fingers to moisten the edge of the pastry with a little water and press gently to seal the edges. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Brush the tops of the pastry with egg whisked with water. Bake until dough is puffed and deeply browned, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cranberry sauce, mustard and 3 tablespoons water in a blender until very smooth. Serve the cocktail franks warm with the cranberry sauce on the side for dipping. Note: You can make and freeze the pigs up to a month ahead if you like; leave them unbaked on the baking sheet in the freezer until completely frozen (1 to 2 hours) and then transfer to a freezer bag or container. Brush with egg wash and bake right from their frozen state.

Yield: 8 servings (3 pieces each)
Calories: 260
Fat: 16g
Fiber: 1g

Salami and Cream Cheese Roll-ups

Salami and Cream Cheese Roll-ups


1 pound cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 -3/4 pounds salami sliced thin (thinner is better as it rolls easier)

1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced

Ritz Crackers



Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on the work surface. Place the cream cheese on top of the plastic wrap and cover with another piece of wrap the same size. With a rolling pin roll the cream cheese out into an even layer, approximately 1/4-inch thick. Watch the edges of the cream cheese as it rolls out because the top wrap can work its way under the cheese. To avoid this, occasionally pull the wrap off and replace it to continue rolling the cheese into a rectangle. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and add the salami, overlapping the slices until all the cream cheese is covered, lightly press the salami into the cream cheese to make it stick. Replace the plastic wrap and carefully flip the salami and cheese so that the cream cheese is again on top. Remove the wrap and place the sliced green peppers over the cheese. Roll the salami over the cream cheese being careful not to leave any air space (this make it harder to cut later) and use the plastic wrap to pull it tight as you work. Roll the meat log and press the outer layers tight to hold it all together. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight (it can be cut without chilling, but the longer it chills the easier it is to cut.) Cut the meat slices thin, taste one on a cracker, as large crackers may need a thicker slice, while smaller crackers will need one cut thinner.


Coconut Cream Fruit Dip

Coconut Cream Fruit Dip

coconut cream fruit dip4 oz. cream cheese

1/2 (15oz.) can Cream of Coconut (Not coconut milk! Find this in the aisle with the margarita mix & other mixers.)

1/2 (8oz.) tub Cool Whip


Whip the cream cheese with the cream of coconut with paddle attachment in a stand mixer until all lumps are gone. Remove paddle, & fold in cool whip. Serve with fruit or graham crackers. *Some readers have found beating the cream cheese first, then adding the cream of coconut helps to keep the lumps out. You can also try softening the cream cheese, using the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer if lumps become a problem.



Deviled Egg Spread

Deviled Egg Spread

devilled egg spread1 dozen large eggs

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

Salt & pepper

Paprika for dusting


In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with cold water; make sure the water is a good inch above the eggs. Add in the vinegar. Bring to a rapid boil. Cover the saucepan and remove it from the heat. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Drain the water from eggs and cool them under cold running water. Shake the pan vigorously to crack the shells. Let the eggs cool in the water.


Shell the eggs and halve them lengthwise. Coarsely chop half the egg whites and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the remaining white and all of the yolks to a food processor along with the mayo and mustard. Process until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and blend with the chopped egg whites. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.

Joe’s Zesty Crab Dip

Joe’s Zesty Crab Dip

12oz. jar Cocktail Sauce
1 T. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Dash Hot Pepper Sauce
4.25 oz. can Lump Crabmeat, well drained
Tortilla or Bagel Chips, for serving

Add the cocktail sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce to a small glass bowl and stir to combine. Fold in the drained crabmeat until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour before serving with chips.

Baja Dip

Baja Dip

1 cup hummus
1 cup ripe avocado, cubed
1 T. fresh lime juice
½ cup chunky tomato salsa
½ sour cream
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

Using a rubber spatula, spread the hummus over the bottom of a 1-quart glass or ceramic bowl. Layer the avocado cubes on top and sprinkle the lime juice all over. Top with layers of the salsa, then sour cream and the cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.

Game Day Fun Fondue

Game Day Fun Fondue

gameday2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. Velveeta cheese

1/2 C. apple juice

2 tsp. green onion, chopped

Dash pepper

Dash paprika

Whole wheat bread

White American cheese slices or string cheese

Raw vegetables cut up in bite-sized pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut Velveeta in chunks and place in medium saucepan with garlic, apple juice, pepper, paprika, and 1 tsp. green onion (reserve the rest of the onion for garnish). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. While fondue is cooking, lay out whole wheat bread on cutting board and cut into football shapes (2 footballs per slice).   Place on a cookie sheet and place American cheese or string cheese on top to make “laces”. Bake at 400 until cheese is melted and bread is toasted. Place fondue in a bowl and garnish with remaining green onion. Place “football toast” and cut up vegetables around the bowl and serve.

Really Easy Homemade Fritos

Really Easy Homemade Fritos

Fritos2/3 cup masa (corn flour)

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 to 2/3 cup water

Mix ingredients by hand, starting with 1/2 cup water, adding more water if needed if dough feels is too crumbly to handle. Take half the dough, place inside a silicone baking mat or between two layers of cling wrap and roll out about 1/8″ thick. Transfer to a cutting board. Slice into 1×2″ rectangles using a pizza cutter. Repeat with remaining dough.

The Really Delicious Method: Cook at 375 for 10-15 minutes until crunchy. Sprinkle with salt, cool and serve.

The FREAKING Delicious Method: Working in batches, fry in 350 degree oil for 30 seconds. Drain and sprinkle with a tiny bit more kosher salt before serving.

Cheesy Bacon Oven Chips

Cheesy Bacon Oven Chips

cheesy1 large, uniformly-shaped russet potato, scrubbed well and sliced into 1/8″ rounds*

Cooking spray

3/4 C. shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

2 T. crumbled bacon (about 2 slices) – I used real bacon bits

Chopped parsley or chives, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bring sliced potatoes to a boil in cold, salted water to cover for 5 minutes.  Carefully drain, and transfer slices to a paper-towel lined countertop or cutting board.  Pat to dry. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray, and lay out potato slices so they are overlapping on it.  Spray lightly with additional cooking spray, then sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.  Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheese & bacon.  Bake 12-14 minutes in preheated oven until cheese is melted & bubbly.  Serve with chipotle ranch sauce (recipe below).  Serves 2. *You can use 2 medium-sized potatoes rather than 1 large.  Also, I like to leave the skin on but you can peel the potatoes if you prefer. Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce

1 T. ranch dressing

3 T. sour cream

1/4 t. chipotle chili powder

1/8 t. cayenne (adjust more or less depending on how spicy you want).

1/8 t. salt

1/8 t. garlic powder

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and stir to combine.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Tiny Fried Tacos

Tiny Fried Tacos

14_01_culinary_tacos2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying

1/2 store-bought cooked rotisserie chicken

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon ancho chili powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

24 (3-inch) yellow corn tortillas*



1/4 cup crema mexicana or sour cream

1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese

Hot sauce, to taste


In a large pot, preheat oil to 375°F. Remove skin and bones from the chicken and shred meat into a medium bowl. Add lime juice, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and salt and pepper and toss to combine. Place a big pinch of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Using tongs gently fold each tortilla around filling and hold under the oil for a minute before releasing; let it fry for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Fry tacos a few at a time to avoid overcrowding. Drain on paper towels and season with salt to taste. Gently hold each taco open and add toppings as desired.


* If tiny tortillas are difficult to find, use a 3-inch circle cutter to cut mini tortillas out of larger ones.

Super-Small Deep-Dish Pizzas

Super-Small Deep-Dish Pizzas

14_01_culinary_pizzas1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup red wine

1 tablespoon minced oregano

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 (16-ounce) can store-bought biscuit dough

1/2-pound Italian sausage, casings removed

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes, wine, oregano, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat; season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside and let cool.  Cut each piece of biscuit dough into thirds. Lightly grease 24 small (2-inch) tart shell tins and place a piece in the center of each. Gently press and spread dough along the bottom and up the sides of the tin. {Tip: If you don’t have small tart shell tins, use a muffin tin.} Press 1 tablespoon of the sausage into each piece of dough and top with a sprinkle of peppers. Toss mozzarella and half of the Parmesan in a small bowl and sprinkle mixture over top. Spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce over the cheeses and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese begins to bubble and crusts are golden brown. Let pizzas cool for a few minutes before removing from pans. Serve warm.

Wingless Buffalo Chicken Rolls with Blue Cheese Dip

Wingless Buffalo Chicken Rolls with Blue Cheese Dip

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

1 pkg (1 1/3lb) ground chicken breast

6 scallions, thinly sliced, then chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

3-4 T. hot sauce

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted

4 T. unsalted butter, melted


Dipping Sauce

1 C. crumbled blue cheese

1 1/2 C. sour cream


Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl, combine ground chicken, scallions, garlic, and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a sealable plastic bag. To turn the sealable plastic bag into a homemade pastry bag, trim 1 1/2 inches off one of the bottom corners of the plastic bag. Push the chicken mixture to the cut corner without pushing it through the hole. Reserve while you prepare the phyllo. Arrange 1 sheet of phyllo dough with the long side closest to you on your kitchen counter, brush liberally from edge to edge with melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Place another sheet of phyllo on top, again brush liberally with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the third layer of phyllo. Place the trimmed end of the pastry bag 1/2 inch in from the left side and 1/2 inch up from the bottom of the phyllo sheet. Squeeze half of the chicken mixture from the bag while moving along in a straight line from left to right. Roll the front edge of the phyllo sheet away from you, encasing the chicken mixture. Continue until you have completed a long roll. Tuck the ends in and then brush the entire outside of the phyllo log with more melted butter. Transfer the first log to a rimmed cookie sheet, putting the seam side down. Repeat this process to make a second log with the remaining chicken mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until the log feels firm to the touch. While the phyllo-wrapped chicken is in the oven, in a bowl, combine the blue cheese and sour cream. Smash the blue cheese with a fork to break it up, then stir to thoroughly combine with sour cream. When rolls are cooked, remove from oven and let them cool just enough to handle. Cut each roll in half, then cut each half in 3 equal pieces. Serve 3 chicken rolls per person celery sticks and a dish of dipping sauce.






Touchdown Taco Pockets

Touchdown Taco Pockets


4 cans refrigerator biscuits (any kind)

1 lb. ground beef

1 package taco seasoning


Shredded cheese

Optional garnishes: lettuce, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown ground beef in a medium skillet. Add taco seasoning and water as directed on package. Cook as directed. Remove from heat. On a cutting board, place 2 biscuits together and roll out into an oval with a rolling pin. Repeat with another 2 biscuits. Place a spoonful of taco meat and a spoonful of shredded cheese on one of the rolled out biscuits and place the other oval on top. Using a fork, press around edges to seal. Take a sharp knife and cut out a football shape. Make “laces” on top of the football with the scraps (see video tutorial). Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 8-12 minutes until done. Serve up with your favorite taco fixins’.

5 Fool-Proof Super Bowl Parties

5 Fool-Proof Super Bowl Parties

Score big points at the Super Bowl celebration with any one of these five winning ideas.

Even if you’re not Tom Brady or Eli Manning, you can score big points with any one of these five winning party ideas. You’ll probably get penalized for excess celebration, but, hey, it’s the Super Bowl.

Party #1: Build a Bar

A food bar, that is. Instead of worrying about whether your friends are now vegetarian, lactose intolerant, doing low-carb or gluten-free, let everyone create their own individual dish by adding the topping of their choice.

• Taco Bar: Prepare a couple of hot fillings such as ground beef and chicken, and set out a basket of taco shells along with a variety of toppings.

• Hot Dog Bar: Grill the franks or brats, set out the buns, and let your guests top their dogs with sauerkraut, cheese, or chili. Make it interesting with a variety of gourmet mustards.

• Potato Bar: Bake a batch of potatoes and wrap them in foil to keep them warm. Or, bake ahead of time and reheat in the microwave. Set out bowls of various toppings and let everyone make their own loaded potato. Topping suggestions include chili, barbecue chicken or pork, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sautéed bell pepper and onions, chopped jalapeno pepper, salsa, chutney, bacon pieces, butter, and sour cream. For more ideas on building food bars, see these related articles from Southern Living:

Southwestern Taco Bar
Hot Dog Bar

Party #2: Beer and Food Pairing

A beer and recipe-pairing party is perfect for a mixed crowd of those who want to watch the game and those who only want to watch the commercials. Those who don’t care about the game can entertain themselves by experimenting with specific pairings. The football fanatics can just enjoy the beer and great eats. When pairing beer with food, match like with like–mild lagers and lighter ales with delicate and subtle foods, and full-flavored ales with robust recipes. Mexican, Thai, Indian and German dishes are all good partners for beer. Usually the best beer to enjoy with a dish is the one from the country where the recipe originated. Read more from Cooking Light about serving beer and pairing it with recipes:

Brewing a Perfect Match
In Season: Beer

Party #3: Regional Play-Off

Who cares which team has the better players? Let’s focus on which region has the better food. Set up a “Best of New England” and “Best of the Big Apple” tasting menu. Pit one cuisine against the other, and see who comes out on top.

On one table, feature items such as Clam Dip, Cape Cod Clam Chowder, Boston Baked Beans , Boston Cream Pie, and Cranberry-Apple Crisp with Cinnamon-Maple Cream.

On a second table, serve an array of New York City favorites. We suggest classics like New York Cheesecake, Turkey Reuben Sandwiches, Soft Pretzels, Tony’s Hand-Tossed Pizza, and Smoked Salmon Bagels. Or, party larger than life and dish up Giant Ham-and-Pepper Salad Sandwiches, Giant Oatmeal Drop Cookies, and Giant Apple Napoleon.

Party #4: Progressive Dinner

Instead of moving to a different location for each course, stay in one place, but serve a different course during each quarter of the game. It’s a great way to organize a menu as well as the prep work. For example, serve cocktails and a few munchies such as Make-Ahead Snack Mix and Chesapeake Bay Party Nuts during the first quarter and a salad in the second quarter, preferable a salad that you can make the day before. A basic coleslaw is easy and great for a crowd. Start an entrée such as Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Sandwiches early in the day and you won’t have to miss any of the game or the commericials. The meat will be ready just in time for the third quarter, and by the fourth quarter, everyone will be ready for dessert. We recommend Death by Caramel Bars for ardent football fans. If the game goes into Sudden Death, you’re on your own. Coffee, perhaps?

Party #5: Souper Bowls

Instead of going the usual chips and dips route, have a real hearty meal by making a couple of big pots of chili or soup. We suggest offering at least two choices–perhaps one with meat and one without. Try All-American Chili, Full of Veggies Chili, or Tortilla Soup, all of which can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. Set out bowls of topping and accompaniments such as oyster crackers, saltine crackers, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, chopped onion, sour cream, and yogurt. Serve the soup or chili in large coffee mugs if you don’t have enough bowls.


Party Penalties


Don’t get penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when you’re hosting a Super Bowl Party. Here are some tips that keep you from getting benched.


• Buy more beer than you think you’ll need and keep it cold.


• Stock up on extra chips and in case the game goes into overtime.


• Let your friends contribute to the spread. There’s no point in you doing all the work.


• Keep cold foods cold and hot food hot so that no ones goes home with a food bug.


• Serve buffet-style and let guests use lap trays so that everyone can be in front of the television screen. That is, after all, the point of the party.


• Have another room available for those who don’t care about the score and just want to talk and eat. This will bring cheers from those who do want to pay attention to the game.


• Rethink the idea of fondue if you’ve got a rowdy crowd. Sharp fondue forks and flames don’t pair well with beer drinking.


• Turn your party into an over-nighter if some of your guests over-imbibe when their team wins or loses. They’ll thank you for it later.

Roasted Garlic & Blue Cheese Dip

Roasted Garlic & Blue Cheese Dip

6 lg. Heads fresh garlic
16oz. cream cheese
4 oz. Blue cheese
3/4 C. Milk
2 tsp. Chopped fresh parsley

Remove outer covering on garlic. Do not peel or separate the cloves. Place each garlic head on a large square of heavy aluminum foil. Fold up the foil, so the cloves are completely wrapped. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Remove garlic from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Separate cloves and squeeze cloves to remove cooked garlic. Discard skins. In food processor, mix cheeses, milk and garlic until smooth. Place in serving dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve as a dip with crudités (mixed vegetables) or crackers for dipping. Makes 5 cups.

Cheesy Bacon Oven Chips with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce

Cheesy Bacon Oven Chips with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce

1 large, uniformly-shaped russ89306e2170c725ccadea44ce4fd71911et potato, scrubbed well and sliced into 1/8″ rounds*
Cooking spray
3/4 C. shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
2 T. crumbled bacon (about 2 slices) – I used real bacon bits
Chopped parsley or chives, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring sliced potatoes to a boil in cold, salted water to cover for 5 minutes. Carefully drain, and transfer slices to a paper-towel lined countertop or cutting board. Pat to dry. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray, and lay out potato slices so they are overlapping on it. Spray lightly with additional cooking spray, then sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheese & bacon. Bake 12-14 minutes in preheated oven until cheese is melted & bubbly. Serve with chipotle ranch sauce (recipe below). Serves 2.

*You can use 2 medium-sized potatoes rather than 1 large. Also, I like to leave the skin on but you can peel the potatoes if you prefer.

Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce

1 T. ranch dressing
3 T. sour cream
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne (adjust more or less depending on how spicy you want).
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and stir to combine. Refrigerate any leftovers

Sarah’s Hot Olive Cheese Puffs

Sarah’s Hot Olive Cheese Puffs

1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 C. (4 oz) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
3 tsp. butter, softened
48 medium pimento-stuffed green olives, drained (approximately)

In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt and paprika. In a food processor, blend cheese with butter. Pour flour mixture into processor and pulse a few times until mixed. Pinch off a small amount of dough, flatten between your palms, wrap around olive and roll lightly between your palms to smooth out. (If dough is too soft to handle, chill for at least 30 minutes before using.) Just before serving, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place olives on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Serve hot.